WWE's Summerslam was very newsworthy on a number of levels. Every title that was defended changed hands, and we saw the progression of a few stories as well. Let's dive in and take a look at some of my "Afterthoughts..." (Copyright: Bill Wentz)
1) 16 Germans!
Brock Lesnar absolutely decimated John Cena, from bell to bell. This was a very different match than their Extreme Rules outing back in 2012, and for this viewer, it worked. The goal seems to be building up Lesnar as an absolutely unstoppable beast. It's working. He dominated The Streak. He victimized John Cena. I can only imagine what's next, and I'm eager to see who will step up to Lesnar - and who he will destroy - on his way to Wrestlemania 31.
Roman Reigns is certainly a viable option to end Lesnar's reign, but I'm hoping for Daniel Bryan, personally. We'll have to see where this goes, and tonight's Raw will certainly be interesting.
2) Dominatrix Steph and a twin's turn
I was peeking in on Twitter while covering Summerslam live last night. Overwhelmingly, the response to this match was positive. I don't see it. It was slow, prodding, and frankly terrible. Stephanie was passable for someone that never wrestled often to begin with, and hasn't been in a ring in 10 years. As for Brie? Well, she's not exactly a technician herself either.
The only thing about this match I liked was the dropkick Brie delivered to Triple H through the ropes. That's. It. Steph looked ridiculous in her Dominatrix/Chyna outfit. Both of them looked ridiculous taking up 10 minutes of my time. But worst of all, Nikki Bella turning heel on Brie was ridiculous because frankly, noone gives a rat's ass about this story.
That DDT. My goodness.
Paige and AJ put on a great wrestling match, and when put into perspective with what I just typed up for #2, it was a five-star classic. Ok, it wasn't a five-star match, but it was pretty damn good, and what I hope to be a sign of direction for the women's division continuing forward.
The only thing I felt this match lacked was about another 10 minutes. The ladies put on a really stiff women's match, but I felt like it ended a bit too soon. Still, the reversal out of the Black Widow into that DDT was fantastic, and a great way to end the match.
My only fear with this situation is we'll be seeing the title bounce back and forth between these two for the next couple of months. Let's keep it on Paige, and let's have her build up a trail of Divas.
4) Moneymaker no more
I was quite surprised to see The Miz drop his Intercontinental Championship last night. Why put the belt on him for only one month, especially after such a hot (and what I'd consider successful) return. He's got a revamped character that's suiting him much better now. Run with it!
On the flip size, Ziggler has been damaged since his World Heavyweight Championship run. The concussions certainly didn't help - and those were out of his control. Still, he's become a shadow of his former self, until most recently.
I'm not sure what exactly is clicking with audiences lately. Maybe it's just the fact that he busts his ass in the ring every time he goes out there. The live crowds are eating him up, and he's been getting great pops each and every week, so putting the belt on him can really elevate him to another level, and for that I'm ok with the title switch.
Unfortunately, I think he's going to become one of a number of pieces of cannon fodder for Brock Lesnar in the coming months.
5) I'm a Lumberjack, and I'm ok.
I ripped apart the concept of the Lumberjack match in my Summerslam predictions. Could you blame me? Historically, these types of matches are a cluster-mess at best, and terrible at worst. I expected this to be a very predictable and boring match from two guys that are really capable of much more than that.
Boy, was I completely, totally wrong.
From bell to bell, this match was exciting, and dare I say fun? It was a true brawl, through and through, and I found their means of getting away from the lumberjacks to be clever and well done. The fight through the audience took this to another level, but I'm glad the lumberjacks didn't just let them go, and wound up bringing them back in. Minor detail, but important.
I sort of got my prediction half-right. Seth used the briefcase. However, for some reason, the ref allowed it and counted for the pin. I didn't know a Lumberjack match meant no-DQ. But hey, there we go.
Meanwhile, I expect we'll see Dean Ambrose move over to a feud with Kane.
6) Follow the Buzzards
Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho had a far more appealing outing this month than they did last time. I didn't care much for the match at Battleground. This one changed my tune. Jericho looked great out there and you can tell he was really working hard to make Bray Wyatt. I'd say Mission Accomplished.
Bray more than held up his end of the bargain, too. He's come a long way and it's easy to forget he's only been on the main roster about a year. With the win under his belt, these two are 1-1. I think we're goning to get one more bout out of these two, and I'm looking forward to seeing that match much more now than I was 24 hours ago.
7) Never give up, never surrender.
Six months ago, if you told me Jack Swagger would be getting one of the strongest pushes of his career at Summerslam, I probably would've laughed at you. But, here we are. He and Rusev have been telling a fantastic story, and their matches have lived up to the hype. It's amazing - something as simple as USA vs _____ in 2014 still works. I could swear it was 1989 all over again.
The important thing to take away here isn't Rusev's victory. It's the fact that Swagger never tapped.
Don't let me put all of the praise on Jack Swagger here, though. Rusev did an excellent, excellent job last night. He knows the little things matter, and the way he sold his ankle throughout the match was a small piece of storytelling that really paid off in dividends during the match. Do not count this man out. He's got a bright future in pro-wrestling.
8) Overall show? Thumbs up!
I didn't want to dive into too much detail on Cesaro vs. RVD, or Reigns vs. Orton, because quite frankly, nothing significant happened in either match. But, both were good matches and contributed to an overall strong PPV. Summerslam is one of the biggest shows of the year, and it needs to deliver. It did.
What I think people will really walk away from here is the fact that the WWE Network costs only $9.99/month, and you get high quality shows like this out of it. Really, that's the important part. If you're going to charge a monthly premium for something, you need to deliver. Last night, WWE did.
I did have a handful of problems with my stream (Xbox One, for those curious) and a number of others reported troubles as well. Overall though, thumbs up for the stream, and thumbs up for the show.